WILMINGTON -- Last night a group of volunteers braved the cold to assist those who are without homes. The group of volunteers was out counting the number of homeless people here in the Cape Fear area. This is something that volunteers do every year in an effort to find out how many homeless people in our area need help. Volunteers gathered at Thalian Hall at eight o'clock Wednesday night. They broke up into teams and went out into various camps and areas where they know homeless people live. They then asked them questions, like how long they've been homeless, How much money they have, and why they're homeless? The data gathered will be used to help get grant money for programs to help the homeless people in our area. While the number has been steady the last few years, Wilmington continues to draw-in the homeless. UNCW professor Elizabeth Hines said, "Wilmington is a destination for homeless people in all seasons, especially in the winter because of the climate, because there are a lot of low-pay service jobs in hotels, restaurants, and things like that." Last year, volunteers counted more than 600 homeless people in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties. The final head-count won't be complete until Monday. Volunteers combed the camps and abandoned buildings of the tri-county area. Thursday they will walk the streets of downtown Wilmington to find those they didn't count Wednesday.
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